Arsenal Striker Olivier Giroud has claimed that there are at least four of five players that smoke in every football or rugby team and that it isn’t as shocking to the non-smoking team-mates as you might think.
Giroud, who doesn’t smoke, was talking to French daily L’Equipe - brought to our attention by The Daily Telegraph - who asked him about the recent controversies involving smoking and Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny and Jack Wilshere.
He said: “Everyone knows that there are a lot of players who smoke. In every team there are four or five. It doesn’t shock me. In rugby they also smoke and nobody is shocked.”
"Everyone knows that there are a lot of players who smoke"
This revelation comes after Arsene Wenger faced numerous questions about his players' smoking habits in recent years, brought forth following Wilshere’s public smoking displays.
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Wilshere was pictured on two separate occasions with a cigarette; once in 2013 when he was seen smoking outside a London nightclub and then again the following year in Las Vegas when he was enjoying a holiday with Joe Hart after England’s disappointing World Cup.
At the time Wilshere said of his bad habit: “The smoking? Of course I regret it. I have been seen before doing it. I said then I made a mistake and I have made a mistake again. People make mistakes.
“I am young and I will learn from it. I realise the consequences it has and the effects on kids growing up. I have kids myself and I don’t want them growing up to think their dad smokes and it is okay for a footballer to smoke, because it’s not.
“It is unacceptable and I will accept the consequences and I will move on.”
Wilshere did move on. He went from cigarettes to a shisha pipes, being seen holding one in a nightclub recently.
Jack's not the only one
Szczesny is Arsenal’s other supposed public smoker, having been accused of lighting up a cigarette in the showers at St Mary’s after Arsenal lost to Southampton on New year’s Day. On odd place to choose to smoke, one can only assume the water wasn’t running.
The incident led to Wenger having to comment on the matter saying: “Players here are judged on their performances, Ideally, the best way to have a high level of performance as possible is to follow the rules that allow you to perform.
"Human beings are human beings, with their strengths and weaknesses. We know this is not good. Overall, these players are professional.”
Arsenal play Monaco tonight so maybe Wilshere and Szczesny can pinch one off of Dimitar Berbatov, as we know he’s also partial the odd cigarette.